First, Gendron and her team set up a social networking system
to link all shop-floor locations around the globe. A Celestica
software team in Thailand managed the development, with
developers contributing from Celestica sites worldwide.
“The world is changing at an incredible pace, so ideas and
concepts can come from anywhere. We have to embrace all of
these ideas to learn what is successful and then translate that to
Celestica,” she says.
The result: a highly nimble system that is updated every 10
days, as opposed to once a quarter — as was
the case with the old MES. The project has
also delivered a significant financial impact,
driving more than $3 million out of Celes-
tica’s operational costs. Moreover, it will
continue to yield more than $1.5 million in
e;ciencies year over year, Gendron notes.
Additional financial savings are realized
through reduced training costs as a result of
the shared global platform.
What became most evident throughout this
project was that innovation is best nurtured
through collaboration, Gendron says. The
open-source approach to MES dramatically
increased employee engagement across all
of Celestica’s sites through new collaborative
tools and agile development processes. That,
in turn, has spurred an energy that has led
to more process improvements across diverse
customer requirements, Gendron says.
“It was a big risk in some people’s eyes,” she adds, “but for me,
it was a calculated risk and one worth taking.”
Continued from page 18
Two key factors in virtually all IT leaders’ risk calculations are
the breadth and the scope of a project. Both are colossal for
Lenovo CIO Xiaoyan Wang, who is leading an ongoing e;ort to
migrate all of the No. 2 computer maker’s legacy IT systems to a
single, standardized SAP platform worldwide.
Wang’s first principle is that I T will never provide a 100%
solution. Instead, “we need to prioritize, first focusing on the
critical capabilities for running the business. Enhancements are
secondary,” she says.
Her second principle is that “schedule is king.” Making this
a day-to-day operational reality involves working hand-in-glove
with the lines of business, securing agreement up front on both
change management and deployment plans.
“The businesses are intimately involved from the blueprint and
planning phases all the way through to post-production support,”
Wang says. “The impacted businesses have to take ownership
with IT on disciplined execution because we
are building their future and because any mis-
steps would impact our company’s results,”
In cases where project risk is especially
high, Wang uses a pilot program to test the
strength of a system before launching globally.
“Large-scale change takes time and must be
approached with rigor and attention to detail,”
she emphasizes. “It also takes time to acquire
the unwavering support of the business.”
“We studied many other large-scale ERP de-
ployments to this region. All of the companies
we looked at across industries split their Latin
America deployments into several phases, due to the complexity
of the business processes and business environment, especially
around taxes and export/import [issues],” Wang explains.
But Lenovo’s business imperatives leave no time to spare.
“Taking the conventional route would have added at least one
more year to our transformation journey — time that we could
not a;ord,” she says. “Instead, with careful planning and strong
top-down support for change and disciplined technical execu-
tion, we were able to execute in 12 months.”
“Change takes time,” says
Continued on page 22
TOTAL IT BUDGETS FOR 2012
Premier 100 IT Leaders manage sizable IT in-
vestments, most exceeding $50 million:
$2 million to $9.9 million
$10 million to $49.9 million
$50 million to $249.9 million
$250 million to
$1 billion or greater
SUSTAINED GROW TH
The percentage of 2012 honorees who said
their I T budgets had increased in the previous
12 months (48%) was nearly the same as the
percentage of 2011 honorees who reported
an increase (51%).
Premier 100 Snapshots, continued from page 18
The percentage of honorees who said their
sta;s had expanded in the previous 12 months
was higher in this year’s class than it was in last
year’s: 43% of the 2012 honorees, compared to
40% of the 2011 honorees.
(by 10%, on
in this issue
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